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LeadershipNow 140: May 2012 Compilation


twitter Here are a selection of tweets from May 2012 that you might have missed: See more on twitter Twitter.

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Posted by Michael McKinney at 10:46 AM
| Comments (0) | LeadershipNow 140


InsideOut Enneagram

InsideOut Enneagram

THE Enneagram is a method for identifying your personality type and is a valuable system for learning about yourself and others. The Enneagram system defines nine basic personality types of human nature and their complex interrelationships.

Wendy Appel has tackled the Enneagram’s subtleties and complexities in InsideOut Enneagram. Her book makes practical the Enneagram system by use of clear explanations of each Type, case studies, and a structured journaling process. There is a section on Type and team interactions that examines predictable points of tension, reactive patterns, and synergies between all of the possible Enneagram Type pairs. Her goal is to help you to see and think differently about your strengths, your weaknesses, and mostly the subterranean habits of mind and motivations that drive you and others. It’s a journey of self-mastery.

Appel observes that “most of us focus our attention outward and neglect our inner life. We think that change is out there. Instead of tuning in to the language of our head, heart, and gut, we are busy looking outside, ahead, and down.”

Understanding who we are, uncovering our blind spots, and creating a game plan to master our thinking and behavior, is vital to developing our leadership potential and to better understand those we lead.

The subconscious mind, where our habits, patterns, and beliefs reside, directs the course of our lives, and most of us are unaware that this is happening. To transform as leaders and to transform our organizations require that we examine our core beliefs—both individual and collective. If not, we simply make iterative changes, and that won’t be enough to succeed in today’s globalized economy.

The Enneagram gives you the possibility to transform the way you show up as a leader. Inner change leads to outer change—when your inner world transforms, an opening is created for extraordinary shifts to occur in your outer world. When you lead from the InsideOut, you have the ability to be responsive and flexible enough to act in the moment. Your words and actions are aligned. You take responsibility for creating your life and for leading with integrity and passion.

Appel says she often gets asked “about the difference between the MBTI and the Enneagram, or whether MBTI Type preferences neatly fit into the Enneagram Types. The most simplistic way to understand how the systems complement each other is that the MBTI describes preferences for how we do things (get our energy, make decisions, gather information, and so on); the Enneagram describes why and how we behave as we do (beliefs, fears, desires, focus of attention), and how we go about getting our perceived needs met.”

InsideOut Enneagram is an opportunity to discover what is working for you, what is not working for you, why, and what you can do about it. You will find descriptions of each type on her website.

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Posted by Michael McKinney at 07:08 PM
| Comments (0) | Human Resources , Personal Development


The Twelve Absolutes of Leadership

Twelve Absolutes

Gary Burnison considers leadership to be a privilege. Most people like the idea of leadership but few count the cost. He says, “To lead is to be all in, transparent and accessible, calm in the face of upset and even crisis, and always mindful that you are a steward of something bigger than yourself.” That’s not easy. To whom much is given much is required. That’s the part that easily trips us up.

His book, The Twelve Absolutes of Leadership offers insight from his lifetime in leadership, interacting with some of the world's top leaders in the C-suite and boardrooms, as well as heads of state. He offers a framework based on fundamental human truths and the essential elements of leadership. The “Absolutes” are building blocks that must be present regardless of your leadership style or approach. Here are the 12 Absolutes with Burnison’s thoughts on each:

  1. Lead. Anchor yourself in Humility. Leadership is an all-in proposition. Never react; instead ask yourself: is this about me or about we? If it’s the former, forget it and rise above.
  2. Purpose. The why. Purpose must have a long shadow, extending its influence over others.
  3. Strategy. Strategy starts with the results of today. Strategy, rooted in values and purpose, gives encouragement through times of ambiguity and uncertainty. Strategy without purpose and values is a short-term plan that is directed toward shallow goals.
  4. Twelve Absolutes
  5. People. When you.re the leader, it’s never about you, but it starts with you. The leader can’t be the star player, scoring all the points. (Although many try to do just that.) Set high expectations for your team members, and help them to see what they can achieve.
  6. Measure. Don’t rely on what you believe to be true. Measure and monitor so you know if it’s true. Validate your data. Walk around. Talk to people. Listen. Look into their eyes and see for yourself whether the strategy is really working.
  7. Empower. The leader’s job is not to empower people, but rather to help them to empower themselves. It’s the difference between ordering people to do something and inspiring them to see what they can do.
  8. Reward. Employees work harder for leaders who demonstrate respect for their work. Authentic, purposeful praise is a power skill of the successful leader—everywhere.
  9. Anticipate. As a leader, you must always have your focus on the horizon. Your first task is to hone your view of the present that you perceive around you and your organization. Grounded in this reality, you are able to raise your sights toward the horizon and beyond.
  10. Navigate. Anticipation and navigation are complementary skills. It involves making decisions in real time that allow you to adjust, react, and outmaneuver the competition—always on the lookout for the unexpected.
  11. Communicate. Communication is where leadership lives and breathes. That means more listening than talking. It’s not merely telling people what you think and what you know. It is a process in which you seek first to understand what others think.
  12. Listen. Listen, learn, and then lead—in that order.
  13. Learn. Knowledge is what you know. Wisdom is acknowledging what you don’t know. Surround yourself with a handful of people who will be your corrective lens, making sure that you focus and learn. Equally important, your inner circle should be made up of confidants who provide grounding and perspective, seeing you as a person rather than a function.

Burnison reminds us that leadership is about people. “To lead,” he writes, “is to make an emotional connection on a very real and human level in every interaction.”

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No Fear of Failure Leadership U

Posted by Michael McKinney at 05:47 PM
| Comments (0) | Leadership Development


Leading Views: The Star Follower

Leading Views Frequently, when you hear a leader say that they want followers they can trust, what they mean is they want followers who will do what they say and never question them. When they do this, they are letting their insecurities show. It’s not a healthy relationship for either the leader or the follower. The leader becomes isolated and the followers do not grow into their own potential.

Robert Kelly, author of The Power of Followership, described the leader/follower dynamic in The Art of Followership, this way:
Star followers think for themselves, are very active, and have very positive energy. They do not accept the leader’s decision without their own independent evaluation of its soundness. If they agree with the leader, they give full support. If they disagree, they challenge the leader, offering constructive alternatives that will help the leader and organization get where they want to go. Some people view these people as really “leaders in disguise,” but this is basically because those people have a hard time accepting that followers can display such independence and positive behavior. Star followers are often referred to as “my right-person” or my “go-to person.”

The words “leader” and “follower” bring to mind a common script in which the leader is in charge, saying, “You do this, and you do that.” Meanwhile, followers are imagined as inferior beings in need of the leader’s direction, motivation, and protection. We need to rethink this outdated script.

Posted by Michael McKinney at 01:58 PM
| Comments (0) | Followership , Leading Views


Real Leaders Don’t Boss

Real Leaders Dont Boss

RICH EICH says that Real Leaders Don’t Boss. “Real leaders are rare in today’s fast-moving, financially driven world. In their place are fast-track wannabes and imposters, intent on instant gratification in the form of quick (and unsustainable) bottom-line results.”

As Eich observes, there are far too many bosses and not enough leaders. Bosses who are too narrowly focused, see employees as tools, are respecters of position, controls rather than empowers, and sets expectations for others that they wouldn’t wish on themselves.

Eich identifies and then dedicates a chapter to each of eight essentials of effective leadership:

  1. Real leaders don’t boss. They are calm in their style, yet have zero tolerance for bullies, who, in any capacity, undermine performance and morale.
  2. Real leaders have a central compass. They aspire to do what’s right and be a part of something bigger than themselves.
  3. Real leaders communicate with clarity, honesty, and directness, and know how to listen.
  4. Real leaders have a unique make-up. Their passion translates into a strong corporate culture.
  5. Real leaders value and support everyone they lead, out front as well as behind the scenes.
  6. Real leaders know when to get out of the way.
  7. Real leaders are accessible. They are humble and easily approached.
  8. Real leaders know the difference between character and integrity, and why it takes both to succeed.

These eight essentials are about treating people right. They also reflect an extended range of responses to people and situations that “bosses” either don’t possess or exercise.

“Real” leaders inspire others to lead wherever they find themselves in the organization. They help them to find meaning in their own lives.

Leadership isn’t something you are born with, it is something that is thoughtfully developed throughout life. Eich notes, “Most real leaders aren’t born with some innate ability transforming them into magnets that attract others to follow them. They may have expectations placed on them to rise above their present situation or environment; they may even have an inborn strong desire to serve others and accomplish something unique. In most cases, however, leadership skills are developed and honed in the battlefield of life, where leaders discover their drive, passion, and wisdom.” It is these opportunities to rise above our present situation and environment that we should be seeking out and providing for our children—the next generation of leaders.

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Earn Respect Culture Counts

Posted by Michael McKinney at 12:14 PM
| Comments (0) | Leadership Development


5 Leadership Lessons: The Leader as Strategist

Leader As Strategist

The Strategist is not a book about strategy, but a book designed to equip and inspire you to be a strategist. Author Cynthia Montgomery, says we have reduced strategy to a right-brain exercise and have lost sight of what it takes to lead the effort. The essential component of the strategy-making process is the leader.

Leaders must not ignore or underestimate their crucial and ongoing role as a strategist. “Strategy is not a destination or a solution,” writes Montgomery. “It is not a problem to be solved and settled. It’s a journey. It needs continuous, not intermittent, leadership. It needs a strategist.”

1  The myth of the super-manager—that a truly good manager can prevail regardless of the circumstances—is hard to let go. First, you must understand the competitive forces in your industry. How you respond to them is your strategy. Second, even if you understand your industry’s competitive forces, you must find a way to deal with them that is up to the challenge. Third, whatever you do, don’t underestimate the power of those forces.

2  Strategy is about serving an unmet need, doing something unique or uniquely well for some set of stakeholders. Beating the competition is critical, to be sure, but it’s the result of finding and filling that need, not the goal.

3  Nothing else is more important to the survival and success of a firm than why it exists, and what otherwise unmet needs it intends to fill. Every concept of strategy that has entered the conversation of business managers—sustainable competitive advantage, positioning, differentiation, added value, even the firm effect—flows from purpose.

4  After you’ve identified your purpose, aligned your activities and resources, and tested the results—all internal working steps—you are ready to summarize your strategy in a statement you can use to communicate both inside and outside your firm…. Make every word real. Make every word count. Long sentences and vague language can obscure your effort to describe what’s really important. At best, they’re unhelpful; at worst, they’re potentially misleading and distracting.

5  The most important thing is to understand that you are not a manager of strategy, or a functional specialist. Others can fill those roles. You are, first and foremost, a leader. Your goal is to build something that is not already there. To do so, you must confront the four basic questions you have already explored:

What does my organization bring to the world?
Does that difference matter?
Is something about it scarce and difficult to imitate?
Are we doing what we need to do in order to matter tomorrow?

As a leader, you must answer them.

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Grant Reid Kotter on Urgency

Posted by Michael McKinney at 11:13 PM
| Comments (0) | Five Lessons , Management


What Matters Now

What Matters Now

What Matters Now by Gary Hamel is an important book. It is an invitation to rethink the fundamental assumptions we have about capitalism, management, institutions, and life at work. It is, as Hamel describes it, “a blueprint for creating organizations that are fit for the future and fit for human beings.”

It would be wrong to assume that hierarchies and managers will go away. But we need to rethink how we operate within our organizations.

What Matters Now
The book is divided into five fundamental, make-or-break issues that will determine whether your organization thrives or dives in the years ahead: values, innovation, adaptability, passion and ideology. Here are some of his thoughts that become more powerful as they sink in:

Values Matter Now.

• What matters now is that managers embrace the responsibilities of stewardship.

• Every institution rests on moral footings, and there is no force that can erode those foundations more rapidly than a cataract of self-interest.

• I think corporate life is so manifestly profane, so mechanical, mundane, and materialistic, that any attempt to inject a spiritual note feels wildly out of place—the workplace equivalent of reading the Bible in a brothel.

Innovation Matters Now.

• Post these simple questions on your company’s idea wiki: First, what are the thoughtless little ways we irritate customers and what can we do to change that? And second, what are the small, unexpected delights we could deliver to our customers at virtually no additional cost?

• Whenever you identify a convergent belief, ask, does this rest on some inviolable law of physics, or is it simply an artifact of our devotion to precedent? By working systematically to surface these invisible dogmas, you can turn reactionaries into rebels.

• To innovate, you need to see your organization and the world around it as a portfolio of skills and assets than can be endlessly recombined into new products and businesses.

Adaptability Matters Now.

• To thrive in turbulent times, organizations must become a bit more disorganized and unmanaged—less structured, less hierarchical, and less routinized.

• There are only two things, I think, that can throw our habits into sharp relief: a crisis that brutally exposes our collective myopia, or a mission so compelling and preposterous that it forces us to rethink our time-worn practices.

• To put it bluntly, the conversation about “where we go next” should be dominated by individuals who have their emotional equity invested in the future rather than the past. It needs to be led by individuals who don’t feel the need to defend decisions that were taken ten or twenty years ago.

Passion Matters Now.

• It’s impossible to unleash human capabilities without first expanding the scope of employee autonomy. People need the freedom to challenge precedent, to “waste” time, to go outside of channels, to experiment, to take risks, and to follow their passions.

How, many policies in your company exist only to preserve that fiction that the higher-ups really are in control? How many rules enforce standardization at the expense of initiative and passion, while delivering few if any performance benefits?

Ideology Matters Now.

• The creed of control reigns supreme. If you doubt this, ask yourself: Is your organization any less rules-driven than it was ten or twenty years ago? Do people on the front lines feel any less controlled? Are their freedoms any less abridged? And are little cogs any less obsesses with becoming big cogs?

• Give someone monarch-like authority, and sooner or later there will be a royal screw-up.

• We don’t have to content ourselves with an organizational model that was designed to serve the interests of ancient military commanders and smokestack-era CEOs.

It’s time to re-invent our leadership. This book will help in that process.

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Posted by Michael McKinney at 09:54 PM
| Comments (0) | General Business , Leadership , Management


Get Real. Get Outside.

Weekend Supplement

In a print campaign directed at people immersed in the modern digital world for garden power tool company STIHL Australia, we are encouraged to discover the simple joys to be found outside. “Get Real. Get Outside.” It was developed by Whybin\TBWA\Tequila (Australia).

leadership blog

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Posted by Michael McKinney at 09:01 PM
| Comments (0) | Weekend Supplement


Stuck? Flip the Script

Stuck Flip the Script

THE premise of Flip the Script is approaching everything in your life with a new mindset: you can’t control circumstances but you can manage them.

Author Bill Wackermann says that the first step is to “embrace the notion that turning a situation around and creating new opportunities takes the desire to face yourself as you really are and a willingness to see the potential that could be hiding right in front of you.”

Wackermann believes that anything can be flipped—any expectation can be turned upside down. It is a skill that can be learned and developed through practice. The book is divided into three sections: understanding yourself, navigating how to build your flip, and winning, overcoming obstacles and putting it all together. All three steps are important, but the first section is the meat of the book and the one that requires the most attention because this is where we get in our own way most of the time.

Understanding yourself and your situation requires honesty. It doesn’t do any good to make excuses here; that only clouds the issues. “Designing your way around obstacles starts with a proper mind-set.” Begin by asking, “So what if …?” So what if there isn’t enough money? We are short on people? So what if they don’t come through? “So what if?” is a “mental tactic that allows you to force yourself to consider alternative viewpoints and plan for the worst.”

Taking responsibility for where you are in this moment, is crucial and once done can actually provide us with a great deal of freedom. Blaming others imprisons us. Wackermann suggests asking yourself:

  1. What can I do right now to fix the situation I want to change? It can be a big or small action, but it has to be something.
  2. What did I do that contributed to getting me to where I am?
  3. What could I have done differently?

In conjunction with those questions, you might also ask yourself:

  1. Do I blame others? Colleagues, clients, or family members? (E.g., “He never told me it was due today?”)
  2. Do I make excuses to avoid responsibility? (E.g., “I couldn’t get to that email because I was traveling.”)
  3. Do I ever apologize?
  4. Do I complain rather than try to make a situation better? (E.g., “They really need to fix that.”)

Wackerman says blame is like candy; too much is unhealthful and will make you sick. “What’s standing between you and success right now is you. Not your folks, not your history, just you. I’m not suggesting that you deny your past, but I am advising that you refuse to live there because it just might kill your future.”

He covers common areas of self-sabotage like Know-It-All-Ism, My Boss Hates Me, Taking Things Personally, Perception is Reality, and Excusing Yourself. Wackermann leaves you with much to think about. Here are a few more ideas to keep in mind:

Flipping means managing all aspects of a situation, including the internal and external…A successful flip requires that we not confuse our motives with what the world sees. To move our goals forward, we have to be mature enough to recognize that perception, unfortunately, is reality. That is business, and our actions and behavior shape how others see us and see our potential for growth. The good news is that we can control in way both big and small how the world sees us.

You can borrow the best of what you like in others rather than fixating on their worst traits.

The behaviors you do robotically are the ones that are keeping you stuck in your current situation.

Actions must follow words. If you feel like other people are catching all the breaks, come in early, stay late, and volunteer for assignments that take you out of your job function. It’s called taking the initiative: you need to show your boss that side of you.

Flipping the script isn’t based on intelligence, rather it’s based on our ability to manage ourselves and control our urges.

Doing the right thing is so hard because it usually takes much more work, determination, willpower, and self-control than you’d expect.

To win at politics, don’t complain, and take five minutes a day to build alliances and stay focused on your end goals. Use the ROPE method: Have a good Role Model, Open yourself to change, Project confidence, and Express humility.

In the end, you can’t make people behave differently; all you can do is manage yourself.

Your success in flipping the script will be determined by how hard you are willing to look at yourself and your ability to deconstruct patterns of behavior that you’ve established over a lifetime.

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Posted by Michael McKinney at 09:41 AM
| Comments (0) | Personal Development


First Look: Leadership Books for May 2012

Here's a look at some of the best leadership books to be released in May.

  The 3 Power Values: How Commitment, Integrity, and Transparency Clear the Roadblocks to Performance by David Gebler
  Flip the Script: How to Turn the Tables and Win in Business and Life by Bill Wackermann
  Leading With Honor: Leadership Lessons from the Hanoi Hilton by Lee Ellis
  Adaptability: The Art of Winning In An Age of Uncertainty by Max McKeown
  It Worked for Me: In Life and Leadership by Colin Powell

3 Power Values Flip the Script Leading With Honor Adaptability Colin Powell

For bulk orders call 1-800-423-8273

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Build your leadership library with these specials on over 120 titles. All titles are at least 40% off the list price and are available only in limited quantities.

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“You are the same today you’ll be five years from now except for the books you read and the people you meet.”
— Charlie Tremendous Jones

Posted by Michael McKinney at 08:01 AM
| Comments (0) | Books



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